Oblong white pill indexed with “WATSON 349” on one side, and scored on the other.

Drug Class: Narcotic Analgesic Combinations

Active Ingredients: Acetaminophen / Hydrocodone bitartrate

Strength: 500mg / 5mg

Manufacturer: Watson Laboratories, Inc.


Acetaminophen/hydrocodone is a combination of two different pain-relief medicines with two different mechanisms of action.  Hydrocodone works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain. It belongs to a group of medicines called narcotic analgesics (pain medicine) and helps to relieve pain, and stops or prevents cough. Acetaminophen on the other hand is a mild pain reliever and fever reducer at the same time. Due to their different mechanisms of action, Watson 349 is a more potent painkiller than either of the two drugs present in a single pill.


 This pill is an effective drug combination that relieves moderate-to-moderately severe pain provided the patient doesn’t overdose. Some of the conditions which it may be useful are:

  • Osteoarthritis of back, knee joints, shoulder joints, wrist joint, ankle joints and other joints
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Joint pains in systemic lupus arthritis, sacro-iliitis and other musculoskeletal disorders
  • Acute back pain/ chronic back pain and neuropathic pains
  • It can also be useful in cancer palliative therapy to control pains of malignancies or cancer.

This medication is best taken at the first sign of pain. If you wait for the pain to worsen, the medication may not work very well.


This drug is available in oral tablet and oral liquid form. It is also available in generic cost-saving versions.

This medicine should be taken exactly as prescribed and only by the person to whom it was prescribed for. Dosage depends on the current medical condition, severity of illness, weight (children), and response to treatment.

Tablet form of this medicine may be taken with or without food. If the patient feels nauseated or vomiting, this medicine can be taken with meals. Liquid form of this medicine should be measured properly not by a regular table spoon but with a calibrated measuring spoon, syringe or cup provided by your health professional.

Missed Dose

Two doses should not be taken at the same time. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember and skip the schedule if it is almost time for the next dose.


Immediately call for emergency help with these symptoms: bluish discoloration of the skin, cold and clammy skin, severe drowsiness that may lead to coma, breathing problems, excessive sweating, disturbed functions of cardiovascular system, nausea or vomiting, convulsion/seizures, pain in the abdomen, and bilateral pin point pupils.

Withdrawal Symptoms

This occurs when taking the medicine has been immediately stopped and that it is has been taken regularly and for a longer period of time and with an increased dose. Immediately report to your doctor these symptoms: restlessness, watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, sweating, and muscle aches.

Side Effects:

Common Side Effects

  • anxiety, dizziness, drowsiness
  • mild nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, constipation
  • headache, mood changes
  • blurred vision
  • ringing in your ears
  • dry mouth

Serious Side Effects

  • shallow breathing, slow heartbeat
  • light-headedness, fainting
  • confusion, fear, unusual thoughts or behavior
  • seizure/convulsions
  • urinary problems
  • nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, yellowing of the skin or eyes

Allergic Symptoms

  • hives
  • difficulty breathing
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

Immediately call the doctor or seek emergency help with severe symptoms and allergic reactions. Some side effects tend to go away as soon as the body has adjusted to treatment; however, report to your doctor if symptoms persist or don’t go away.


Before starting this medicine, it is important to discuss with your doctor the risks and benefits involved in taking this medication. Inform the doctor if you have the following conditions:

  • Brain tumor, head injury, central nervous system disorders
  • Heart, kidney, lung, and liver disease
  • History of drug or substance abuse
  • Alcohol intake of more than three drinks a day
  • Allergy to acetaminophen/hydrocodone, similar medicines, and other substances
  • Pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • If you are taking other medicines (prescription, non-prescription medicines, vitamins, supplements, herbal products)
  • Intestinal or gastric problems
  • If you have had suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide from the past
  • If you plan to undergo other treatments, surgery, or dental extraction

Avoid use of alcohol while taking this medicine. Alcohol increases the risk of liver injury.

Avoid driving or operating machinery. This drug causes you to be dizzy and drowsy.

Caution with use among children and elderly. They are at greater risk of having slow/shallow breathing.

Caution with use among older adults and those with medical conditions and taking other medicines. They are at risk of developing wider side effects.

Inform the doctor if you feel the medicine is not working or if you feel you may be addicted to this medicine.


Store this medicine in a safe place, away from others, from children and pets.

Store acetaminophen and hydrocodone at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and direct sunlight.

Discard unused or outdated medicines properly.


This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


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